I read an article today from one of the popular press websites, well it was printed out for me by a colleague after I brought up the subject of difficult relationships with teenage daughters.
My problem, is my fear of never getting back into a stable loving relationship with the person I brought into this world and whom I broke my heart over, on leaving the hospital without her as she was premature. How did we get to this place, a place where conversation is a distant memory, an echo of a past we once shared and is now splintered by hormones and opinions, which are based on little more than the first thought that pops into her head.
She's silent, like a ghost ship in the dark, only little chinks of light remind me my little girl is still in there. The silence is foreboding and I'm now unsure how to break it for fear of breaking something so fragile, that which is or once was, our relationship.
I see her self worth is low, I see her try to be someone she thinks she should be, I see her want to be loved, but know that currently the love she craves is not from me. The love she craves is from those who chatter and laugh about boys and clothes and from the good looking boys far to old for her to understand the complexities they will bring with them. I have to stand by and watch her find her way through these years and hope that she makes it through relatively unscathed. Protecting as best I know how, in as subtle a way as I can so as to not break what ties us.
I have to admit to being affected by this. I feel I now exacerbate the silence with my own as I fear responses and maybe ashamedly, rejection by the one I love. Yes, I've told her time and again I love her, I've said the words, but it now feels as though I say them to myself. I hope she knows I'm here for her should she ever need me, but I'm at a loss on how to be, so I don't be. I watch as she goes out to her friends, and watch as she comes in and goes to her room. I'm a watcher.
It breaks my heart right now and it hurts to know this is a long haul and I hope with all that I am that we make it through this.
The article I read, tells me all this is pretty normal. Teenage girls get hormonal, get silent and moody and have difficult relationships with parents, but knowing it's normal doesn't help. I need to know that we can get through this. I need to know that she knows and actually KNOWS I love her and that one day we will hug and we smile together, but right now, today, there is a huge silent barrier in our way and it's showing no signs of moving.